HIV/AIDS/ Drug Abuse Awareness

The Morehouse School of Medicine partnered with several schools, community-based and faith-based organizations to implement the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Initiative. This 5 year federally funded initiative of $1.2 million per year will serve approximately 3,450 middle and high school aged youth over a five-year period in eight counties: Dekalb, Douglas, Dougherty, Grady, Jasper, Putnum and Thomas. All counties have teen birth rates above the national rate of 26.5 for every 1,000 adolescent females, ages 15-19. Under the leadership of Rotarian Andre Marria, Key Consultant, and Fidelity Manager, who was responsible for the program in Thomas and Grady Counties. Our club will be a partner in the program for Thomas County. An MOU is being drafted that will define our role and financial contribution.

The MSM-TPPI program extends beyond preventing sexual risk behavior. The goals of the program are to:

• Reduce teenage pregnancy and births

• Reduce sexually transmitted infections among adolescents

• Implement selected evidence-based curricula with fidelity

• Increase student bonding to school and academic performance

• Increase Community Awareness of Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Positive Youth Development Programs

Additional programs will address STD and HIV.

Currently Rotarian Andre 'Marria, and Lisa Billups continue to provide Teachback training to Program Facilitators.

Update: 2nd yr of 5 year program. To date, 580 youth have been educated on making responsible choices and practiced setting personal boundaries. 75 parents attended informational sessions. 160 community partners, including Rotary and Family Connection attended sessions to promote community awareness about challenges faced by today's youth supporting our Rotary Brand.